The Pesticide Matrix

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The Pesticide Matrix

Postby peter febb » Mar 19, 2010 7:41 pm

This strange looking image isn't an image at all but a viewable matrix of pesticide application amounts by zipcode and poundage. The matrix was created by using New York state data from http://magritte.psur.cornell.edu/psur/ and converting the zipcodes to Latitude/longitude centroids. The poundage for each centroid is coded into pixel intensity and scaled from 0 to 255 to make the image as shown. (The details are available if you want to duplicate the process). This matrix is viewable in Google Earth as an image overlay.
Image
The next image is the same process applied to the counts of dead bats found at locations near "ground zero". Additional factors are being looked at, such as probability density and emergence vectors that can be worked into this matrix for more accuracy. In this sample, the Kriging algorythm was used to simulate where these bats would have been during foraging.
Image
Each matrix is in the form of pixels, 779 wide by 455 deep. They overlap perfectly and this allows the ability to multiply the pixel value in each matrix together to produce a new matrix representing where the pesticides coincide with bat foraging areas, and to what degree.
If all of the pixels in this new matrix are added together and some simple math is applied, we get a score than can be compared for each chemical class of pesticide. When all the chemical classes are processed against the "bat matrix" in exactly the same manner, the class with the highest score would be a candidate for further research.
Since many of the pesticides in use today are highly restricted due to toxicity, they are my first candidates for this investigation.
Several chemical classes have been examined experimentally using this process. There are so many of them that it will be some time before enough have been processed that conclusions can be drawn, if any.
These results are subject to change, of course:
Pesticide chemical or class matrix score
Diuron 1.812
Glyphosate 1.395
Imidacloprid 0.997
Organochlorine 2.377
Akton 1.856
Guthion 2.826
Bensulide (shown above) 6.325
Dieldrin 0.8012
Diactyl 7.454
Carbamate 1.052
Atrazine 3.709
Pyrethrin 1.150
ACE inhibitors 29.313

It certainly looks like AcetylCholineEsterase inhibitors used as pesticides are used closer to bat foraging areas than all of the others, and may need further investigation. This type of biological activity (ACE inhibition) would cause bats to burn off fat faster than normal. It might be detectable if animals were tested during foraging.

I am hoping to expand this analysis into all infected areas, and could use some help tracking down data for VT, NH, MA, NJ, PA, WV, VA, etc.
Also, recent bat death location and count data seems to be getting more difficult to obtain.

--pf
Last edited by peter febb on May 16, 2011 8:29 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby Teresa » Mar 19, 2010 11:34 pm

Very Interesting, Peter. Esp. since miticide in beeswax has now been definitely implicated in colony collapse disorder in bees, per a beekeeping park naturalist I know.

Thanks for sharing.

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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby BrianC » Mar 20, 2010 8:37 am

The USGS and USFWS say WNS came from Europe through spores carried by a caver. You can't argue this with them as they are always right! I don't think that any pesticide study would make a difference, the caves will stay closed because there MIGHT be a possibility some alien from a far away planet could indeed travel here and contract WNS and bring it back. We can't have that now can we?

Good study though, thanks Peter!
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby peter febb » Mar 22, 2010 11:19 am

Pesticide chemical or class matrix score
Diuron 1.812
Glyphosate 1.395
Imidacloprid 0.997
Organochlorine 2.377
Akton 1.856
Guthion 2.826
Bensulide (shown above) 6.325
Dieldrin 0.8012
Diactyl 7.454
Carbamate 1.052
Atrazine 3.709
Pyrethrin 1.150
ACE inhibitors 29.313

It certainly looks like AcetylCholineEsterase inhibitors used as pesticides are used closer to to bat foraging areas than all of the others, and may need further investigation. This type of biological activity (ACE inhibition) would cause bats to burn off fat faster than normal. It might be detectable if animals were tested during foraging.


I processed the last item this morning. This is an expected finding -- something that was readily predictable from the early descriptions of the syndrome. This result clearly shows that ACE inhibitors are used in areas where bat fatalities are documented. These chemicals have short half-lives and are not likely to be found during hibernation.
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby BrianC » Mar 22, 2010 11:30 am

peter febb wrote:
Pesticide chemical or class matrix score
Diuron 1.812
Glyphosate 1.395
Imidacloprid 0.997
Organochlorine 2.377
Akton 1.856
Guthion 2.826
Bensulide (shown above) 6.325
Dieldrin 0.8012
Diactyl 7.454
Carbamate 1.052
Atrazine 3.709
Pyrethrin 1.150
ACE inhibitors 29.313

It certainly looks like AcetylCholineEsterase inhibitors used as pesticides are used closer to to bat foraging areas than all of the others, and may need further investigation. This type of biological activity (ACE inhibition) would cause bats to burn off fat faster than normal. It might be detectable if animals were tested during foraging.


I processed the last item this morning. This is an expected finding -- something that was readily predictable from the early descriptions of the syndrome. This result clearly shows that ACE inhibitors are used in areas where bat fatalities are documented. These chemicals have short half-lives and are not likely to be found during hibernation.


All good info, but where else has the choloneEsterase been used around the country that have not shown signs of WNS? Kinda like caver s moving WNS, it doesn't compute. Why is a monkey tranquilizer used as a pesticide is another question?
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby peter febb » Mar 22, 2010 11:51 am

Brian, I don't believe for one minute that pesticides are causing the fungus to spread, or that WNS is only found where ACE-pesticides are used. Instead, I expect pesticide concentrations and chemical classes will modify the fatality rate from WNS, and that the fungus is but one of several elements involved.
What might have a more direct effect on the fungus would be something that suppresses the immune system, even if only a little bit. Even something as subtle as lowered nutrition can be a player in this game:

"...Working with organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate compound, we have found that: (1) dietary protein deficiency makes the immune system more susceptible to the toxic effects of pesticides; (2) suppression of immune responses by the immediate metabolites is an important determinant of the toxicity of parent compound; (3) the type and duration of physical or emotional stress and possible involvement of free radicals (oxidative stress) are important in the potentiation of pesticide-induced immune toxicity. An understanding of these risk factors depends largely upon the cellular and molecular events underlying pesticide-induced immune alterations in experimental animals. These factors, therefore, must be considered in the safety/toxicity evaluation of any pesticide. This paper reviews the influence of these factors on the immune-toxicity of some common pesticides." (The influence of various factors on immune toxicity assessment of pesticide chemicals, B. D. Banerjee, Toxicology Letters Volume 107, Issues 1-3, 30 June 1999, Pages 21-31)

Carbamates, organochlorines, organophosphates, pyrethrins, and Atrazine are all known to have immuno-suppressive effects on mammals. Atrazine is one of the herbicides that I first identified as being in the "hotzone" in 2005.
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby BrianC » Mar 22, 2010 12:01 pm

peter febb wrote:Brian, I don't believe for one minute that pesticides are causing the fungus to spread, or that WNS is only found where ACE-pesticides are used. Instead, I expect pesticide concentrations and chemical classes will modify the fatality rate from WNS, and that the fungus is but one of several elements involved.
What might have a more direct effect on the fungus would be something that suppresses the immune system, even if only a little bit. Even something as subtle as lowered nutrition can be a player in this game:

"...Working with organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate compound, we have found that: (1) dietary protein deficiency makes the immune system more susceptible to the toxic effects of pesticides; (2) suppression of immune responses by the immediate metabolites is an important determinant of the toxicity of parent compound; (3) the type and duration of physical or emotional stress and possible involvement of free radicals (oxidative stress) are important in the potentiation of pesticide-induced immune toxicity. An understanding of these risk factors depends largely upon the cellular and molecular events underlying pesticide-induced immune alterations in experimental animals. These factors, therefore, must be considered in the safety/toxicity evaluation of any pesticide. This paper reviews the influence of these factors on the immune-toxicity of some common pesticides." (The influence of various factors on immune toxicity assessment of pesticide chemicals, B. D. Banerjee, Toxicology Letters Volume 107, Issues 1-3, 30 June 1999, Pages 21-31)

Carbamates, organochlorines, organophosphates, pyrethrins, and Atrazine are all known to have immuno-suppressive effects on mammals. Atrazine is one of the herbicides that I first identified as being in the "hotzone" in 2005.

I will have to agree with you 100% Peter! Great job!!! :clap:
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby Batgirl » Mar 22, 2010 2:45 pm

peter febb wrote:Brian, I don't believe for one minute that pesticides are causing the fungus to spread, or that WNS is only found where ACE-pesticides are used. Instead, I expect pesticide concentrations and chemical classes will modify the fatality rate from WNS, and that the fungus is but one of several elements involved.
What might have a more direct effect on the fungus would be something that suppresses the immune system, even if only a little bit. Even something as subtle as lowered nutrition can be a player in this game:

"...Working with organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate compound, we have found that: (1) dietary protein deficiency makes the immune system more susceptible to the toxic effects of pesticides; (2) suppression of immune responses by the immediate metabolites is an important determinant of the toxicity of parent compound; (3) the type and duration of physical or emotional stress and possible involvement of free radicals (oxidative stress) are important in the potentiation of pesticide-induced immune toxicity. An understanding of these risk factors depends largely upon the cellular and molecular events underlying pesticide-induced immune alterations in experimental animals. These factors, therefore, must be considered in the safety/toxicity evaluation of any pesticide. This paper reviews the influence of these factors on the immune-toxicity of some common pesticides." (The influence of various factors on immune toxicity assessment of pesticide chemicals, B. D. Banerjee, Toxicology Letters Volume 107, Issues 1-3, 30 June 1999, Pages 21-31)

Carbamates, organochlorines, organophosphates, pyrethrins, and Atrazine are all known to have immuno-suppressive effects on mammals. Atrazine is one of the herbicides that I first identified as being in the "hotzone" in 2005.


:woohoo: :bananabat: :banana: :banana_yay:

This is what I have been saying all along. is is it possible that pesticides introduced over time could have an effect on the immune systems of bats causing them to be more susceptible to the fungus? Looks like the answer is possibly.

:thanks: Peter
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby ArCaver » Mar 24, 2010 5:20 am

Seems it's a recurring theme. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100324/ap_ ... aring_bees
I doubt the pesticides themselves are the cause of bat death. I wonder how long the bats were on the edge before an invasive species, g. destructans, was introduced into the system?
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby peter febb » Mar 24, 2010 8:43 am

The two to three year span to reach maximum fatality levels, the fungus-without die-off, and the die-offs without fungus are all elements to consider. By expanding the matrix technique to other areas, some of these issues may be eventually resolved.

Some interesting refs:

The USDA website (regarding honeybee CDD):
"The search for factors that are involved in CCD is focusing on four areas: pathogens, parasites, environmental stresses, and bee management stresses such as poor nutrition. It is unlikely that a single factor is the cause of CCD; it is more likely that there is a complex of different components."http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572

"A study published Friday in the scientific journal PLOS (Public Library of Science) One found about three out of five pollen and wax samples from 23 states had at least one systemic pesticide[....the PLOS study found 121 different types of pesticides within 887 wax, pollen, bee and hive samples." http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100324/ap_on_sc/us_food_and_farm_disappearing_bees

Human:

"Several organophosphate and organochlorine compounds, including pesticides commonly found in the Great Lakes basin, have the potential to induce immunotoxicity. Because of biomagnification and accumulation in the food chain, Great Lakes residents may inadvertently be exposed to these compounds and thus face increased risk of immune dysfunction.";Pesticide-induced immunotoxicity: are Great Lakes residents at risk? P T Thomas
Environ Health Perspect. 1995 December; 103(Suppl 9): 55–61. PMCID: PMC1518821


Rats:

Developmental Atrazine Exposure Suppresses Immune Function in
Male, but not Female Sprague-Dawley Rats,Andrew A. Rooney, Raymond A. Matulka, and Robert W. Luebke,TOXICOLOGICAL SCIENCES 76, 366–375 (2003)
DOI: 10.1093/toxsci/kfg250

(My current score for Atrazine is 3.709, but all of the data has yet to be processed. It is my best candidate for causing immune system damage in our bats. This herbicide is used at golf courses, and cornfields to suppress weed growth.-pf)


Bats:

"The summer population of Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) at Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, declined from an estimated 8.7 million in 1936 to 200,000 in 1974 ; thereafter, it increased to approximately 700,000 in 1991. This decline has been attributed primarily to organochlorine (OC) pesticide contamination and habitat disturbance....Pesticide accumulation, frequencies of chromosomal aberrancy, and nuclear DNA content variation in spleen and testicular tissues were examined in specimens collected from Carlsbad Caverns and Vickery Cave, a maternity colony in northwestern Oklahoma, during the summers of 1990 and 1991. Pesticide residues in brain and carcass tissues were identified and quantified by electron capture gas chromatography."Organochlorine pesticide accumulation and genotoxicity in Mexican free-tailed bats from Oklahoma and New Mexico ; THIES M. L. ; THIES K. ; MCBEE K.; Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology; 1996, vol. 30, no2, pp. 178-187 (1 p.1/4)

"Surrogate species for the endangered bats were captured during spring and fall from Fort Leonard Wood and nearby Mark Twain National Forest. Insects were collected to determine pesticide concentration of the bats' food. Bat and insect samples also were screened for organochlorine and organophosphorous pesticides. Surrogate bats and insects collected in 1997 and 1998 had detectable amounts of DDE, heptachlor epoxide, and dieldrin."
Bioaccumulation of Pesticides in Bats from Missouri;Angela Schmidt1, Virgil Brack, Jr. , Russ Rommé,Karen Tyrell and , Alan Gehrt;Pesticides and Wildlife;Chapter 2, pp 8–21


"...Mortality among adult females was greatest in the second summer...following the last pesticide application. Two major peaks of mortality occurred in young bats, one soon after birth and another as they reached adult size. ...Mortality was nearly 9 times higher in young than among adult bats in the first year, wheras proportionately more adults died in the second year." Kunz, et alhttp://www.bu.edu/cecb/files/2009/08/jwm413-476-483-1977.pdf
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby Batgirl » Mar 25, 2010 11:24 am

This is some very interesting stuff Peter. I suspect there are high correlations between BCC (Bee Colony Collapse) and BCC (Bat Colony Collapse) and the pesticides used. keep up the good work and keep posting your findings. I live for this kind of information.

:kewl: :clap:

PS: I also think it would be interesting (and might help narrow down your search) by correlating the pesticides used in Ontario vs the NE. You might find some similarities, but not much. Canada is much more strict when it comes to the approval of pesticides than the US. Our EPA will approve anything even when they knew it could hurt bee populations.

Bayer Crop Science started petitioning the agency to approve a new pesticide for sale in 2006. After reviewing the company's studies of its effects on bees, the EPA gave Bayer conditional approval to sell the product two years later, but said it had to carry a label warning that it was "potentially toxic to honey bee larvae through residues in pollen and nectar.
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby BrianC » Mar 25, 2010 12:36 pm

Is the bee colony starting to rebound? Wasn't it determined that Mexican bees brought this here?
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby Pippin » Mar 25, 2010 12:47 pm

Very interesting topic. I read an article that bee colony collapse has gotten much worse this year, with a heavy bee die-off over the winter. Plus, 3/5 of hives in 23 states are now contaminated with systemic pesticides. I really have wondered if pesticides are in some way making WNS worse. I would love to see a study looking at Canadian use of pesticides and how their bee and bat populations are doing compared to ours.

http://news.discovery.com/animals/honey ... cides.html
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby Evan G » Mar 26, 2010 8:18 pm

Hey Peter,

If you are correct in the Pesticide Matrix the chemistry of the pesticides that are used in the deciduous forest regions should differ than the pesticides used on the mid west plains, unless it is a generic pesticide or combination of generic pesticides. Which an indicator would be a slowing or stopping of WNS once it hit eastern Kansas where the plains begin.

Just a thought
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Re: The Pesticide Matrix

Postby wyandottecaver » Mar 26, 2010 9:08 pm

OK, I guess I will be the naysayer here. If you look, you will find systemic pesticides EVERYWHERE. Most US adults have systemic levels (very small) of DDT even though its use has been banned here for decades (though not in the countries where we get much of our food from).

many of these pesticides have been in many cases applied for decades. even accounting for recent increases in West Nile spraying we should have been seeing declines, not increases in NE bat populations prior to WNS.

Healthy bats from healthy populations far removed from the NE (Wisconsin) and not allowed to forage in the NE, have readily succumbed to WNS in the lab, and apparently, as well as in the VT Mines test.

I strongly suspect you could have used the presence and density white tailed deer in "assumed foraging areas" instead of pesticides and gotten a similiar result....

If Pesticides were a cause we wouldn't see the current spread pattern. If Pesticides had weakened immune systems and opened the door for WNS, we would also be seeing higher rates of other causes of mortality as well besides WNS.

I'm not saying pesticides aren't bad...just like I'm not saying global warming doesn't exist.... but your stretching the drum awfully tight to try and match the beat to WNS
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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